Michigan Tech Game Notes (PDF)
Thurs. Feb. 7 • 7:30 p.m. vs Northwood • Sat. Feb. 9 • 2 p.m. vs Saginaw Valley St.
Michigan Tech (10-10, 5-8 GLIAC) vs Northwood (10-11, 7-6 GLIAC) and Saginaw Valley St. (7-14, 3-10 GLIAC)
Radio: WKMJ Mix 93 FM (Mitch Lake)
Video Stream: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/mtu/
Audio Stream: Pasty.net
Live Stats: http://www.michigantechhuskies.com/sports/mbkb/2018-19/schedule
WEEK 12 IN REVIEW
Michigan Tech split two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road games last week at Purdue Northwest and Parkside. The Huskies rallied from an 18-point deficit to win 75-67 against the Pride Thursday night and nearly repeated the feat on Saturday before falling to the Rangers 82-74. At Purdue Northwest, the Huskies trailed 41-23 at the beginning of the second half, but kept battling and took a 69-67 lead with 51 seconds left before closing out the win at the free throw line. Five Michigan Tech players had 11 or more points in Thursday night's win, led by senior Bryan Heath with 17 points in what was one of the most balanced scoring performances this season. Sophomore Dawson Bilski followed with 15 points and a team high six rebounds while sophomore Isaac Appleby sent in 14 points, dished out four assists, and had four steals on the defensive end of the floor. Junior Trent Bell chipped in 12 points and freshman Owen White rounded out the double digit scorers with 11 points.
Tech then faced a 15-point deficit at the break before mounting a late rally in the final minutes Saturday at Parkside to pull within five points at 78-73. Unfortunately, the Rangers were able to hold off the charge. Freshman TeeAaron Powell guided the Huskies offense with a career high 27 points followed by Bilski with 15 points and a team high seven rebounds. Heath rounded out the double digit point producers with 12 points and a team best four assists.
POWELL PROVIDES A SPARK
Freshman TeeAaron Powell broke out with the best game of his young career, scoring 27 points against the Rangers in Saturday's game. Powell found the bottom the net on 12 of 15 shots from the field and had four rebounds, resulting in the highest point total for a Tech player in a game this season. Bilski had the previous high of 25 points against UW-Stout back on December 15th. Powell reached double digit point totals for the first time this season, pouring in 13 points at Wayne State on January 5th. Powell provided a key spark off the bench in the first meeting of the season with Saginaw Valley State on November 29th. He fired in seven points on three field goals, had two rebounds and blocked a pair of shots. Powell is converting 52.5 percent of his field goals this season and is averaging 4.9 points per game coming into this week's showdowns with Northwood and Saginaw Valley State.
GLIAC STATISTICAL RANKINGS
Through 20 games this season, the Huskies are near the top of the GLIAC statistical rankings in a few different categories. The Huskies are a solid free throw shooting team traditionally and through 20 contests, Tech is second in the conference in free throw percentage at 76.6%. Heath paces the conference in individual free throw shooting percentage at 92.9%. The Huskies lead the conference in blocked shots per game (4.8) while ranking second in the GLIAC in points allowed per game (65.6). The Huskies are fourth in total rebounds per contest at 37.5, third in rebounding margin (3.5), third in the league at holding opponents combined field goal percentage to 41.2%, and fourth three-point percentage at 34.7%. Sophomore Dawson Bilski is 18th in the GLIAC in scoring at 13.6 points per game, sophomore Trent Bell is 10th in the conference in rebounds per game (6.5), and sophomore Isaac Appleby is fourth in all of the GLIAC with a 4.1 assists per game average. Freshman Jake Witt is fifth in the GLIAC in blocks per game average (1.3).
SERIES HISTORY VS NORTHWOOD AND SAGINAW VALLEY STATE
The Huskies lost the first meeting of the season against Northwood on the road 75-70 in Midland December 1st. Tech has claimed a victory however in four of the last five contests between the two clubs. The Huskies own a commanding 54-18 lead in the overall series with the Timberwolves. In the first showdown of the year, Tech fell behind by 14 points near the 11 minute mark of the second half before Heath cut the deficit to three points with 20 seconds to play. However, a layup and free throws in the final seconds enabled the Timberwolves to escape with the win.
The Huskies claimed a 61-56 win in the first match-up of the year with Saginaw Valley State on November 29th in University Center, Michigan. Heath and White paced the Huskies in the points column with 11 apiece in that game. In total, nine different Huskies had points in an all-around team victory. The Huskies have won four of the last five in the series and have a slight 43-42 edge all-time.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Northwood is 10-11 overall and 7-6 in the GLIAC going into Thursday's contest with the Huskies. The Timberwolves are winners of their last three games and four of the last five. Northwood topped Ferris State 90-84 at home this past Saturday. The Timberwolves rank fourth in the GLIAC in field goals made per game at 28.3 and third in total attempts per contest at 63.0. Alec Marty leads a trio of players, who average 13 or more points per game, with a 14.9 ppg clip coming in. Trey McBride checks in at 14.1 ppg and Ja'Kavien Lewis chips in 13.0 ppg. David Jelinek hauls down a team best 6.2 rebounds per night and contributes 9.0 points each time he takes the floor. In addition to his scoring totals, Lewis deals out 6.0 assists per outing. As a team, the Timberwolves are averaging 77.0 points per game, but allowing just over 80 to their opponents.
Saginaw Valley State is 7-14 overall and 3-10 in the GLIAC as they get set to face Northern Michigan on the road Thursday night before arriving in Houghton Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals have lost three in a row, including an 87-72 setback at home against Lake Superior State this past Saturday. The Cardinals crash the boards well, especially on the offensive end of the floor where they rank fourth in the GLIAC at 11.4 per game. Darnell Hoskins Jr. leads the Saginaw Valley State attack with a 15.2 points per game scoring average followed by James Toohey at 12.2 points each time he takes the court. Fred John Jr. reels in a team best 7.2 rebounds per game while Hoskins Jr. distributes 3.1 assists per game. The Cardinals as a team are scoring at 74.2 points per game clip, but allowing the opposing clubs to generate 77.0 points per game so far this year.
Kevin Luke, the winningest coach in Michigan Tech basketball history is in his 25th season leading the Huskies in 2018-19. He has earned a plethora of accolades since his appointment as the program's 11th head coach in May of 1994. Luke has guided the Huskies to five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, earned eight NCAA Tournament berths and won his 300th game in a 74-72 victory over Grand Valley State on March 2, 2011. He reached the 400 win mark on January 19th, 2017 with an 83-72 win over Northwood at home. He owns an impressive 422-270 overall record, including a 283-182 mark in conference play. His winning percentage of .610 ranks as the best in Husky hoop annals.
The Huskies begin a four game road trip starting next week at Lake Superior State and Ferris State. Tech takes on the Lakers in the Thursday game before heading down to Big Rapids on Saturday to battle the Bulldogs. Lake Superior and Ferris State host Wayne State and Ashland this week.